007 licensed to thrill

Whitsunday boat 007 (back) will be vying for podium glory this year at race week.
Whitsunday boat 007 (back) will be vying for podium glory this year at race week.

“THREE weeks of racing – bit like a dream really,” said 007 owner Jeffrey Brown about the racing extravaganza that lies ahead.

First up it's Airlie Beach Race week, in which Brown and his crew – Kate Warren, Stu Harris, Andrew Mosely, Lydia Jones, Zac Baker, Michael Keigheran, Scott Guyomar and 12-year-old Dan Townsend – will be vying for race week glory.

Brown said this year he was hoping for top five in the IRC Division, but a podium finish would be just spectacular.

Spectacular for him, and spectacular for his crew who have worked hard and bonded well together in the lead-up to the 2010 racing season.

“It's a really, really good crew,” he said.

“We all love the boat and we all work hard on it.

“Over the past year we have all become really great friends, really close.

“We take it seriously, but there is no yelling and screaming. We are a happy boat.”

But it hasn't always been sunshine and lollypops for this Whitsunday sailing skipper.

In the February 2008 storm, Brown lost his beloved vessel Mandalay Moon after the yacht was washed up onto the rock wall in the early hours of the morning.

“I saw its final moments,” the skipper said.

“I saw it go under.”

But Brown is not one to dwell on the negatives.

He moved on from that harrowing experience, while commending his fellow Whitsunday residents for their efforts during the devastation.

And he now owns a faster and more competitive boat.

Brown's 007 will be keeping the dream alive this racing season as it makes its way to Hamilton Island Race Week next week before capping off three big weeks of racing at the Magnetic Island Race Week in early September.

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